Denver Bar Association
May 2004
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Lawyer Jokes No Longer a Laughing Matter

by Charles Riccio, Jr.

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Read your letter in the November Docket and I heartily agree. My comments on lawyer "jokes": I don’t know why we put up with them. When we laugh because we think we are supposed to laugh we are simply joining in our own humiliation.

I attended a graduation a couple of years ago and one of our state Supreme Court Justices was the guest speaker. The M.C. said, in introducing him, something like, "I have never liked lawyers but in Justice _________’s case I will make an exception" or words to that effect. Can you imagine the depth of the ignorance of that gentleman?

Well, I have stopped laughing. When one of those jokes is told in my presence I simply say, "Lawyer jokes aren’t jokes, they are insults. They are intended as insults and they are perceived as insults." Try saying that when a blonde joke is told.

—Charles Riccio

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